With it being the day before my return to busy GQ, I wanted to throw back to one of the most calming and relaxing experiences I had. This Christmas/New Year was probably my laziest yet, I’m talking lie ins, cheese boards, giving up on actual bras and wearing a sports bra everyday. Hey, I had a shoulder problem. Sometimes, no matter how much lazing around you’ve done though there’s only one thing that’s going to relax you. A massage.
I’ve been known to enjoy massages once a week and been to all corners of the world (in a massage sense) for all kinds of manipulation. Trodden on in Europe, crunched by crazy pensioners in Thailand, alternative Chinese massage/acupuncture combinations and even massaged with a stick by a bizarre Japanese man. Recent cupping was another procedure. But none of these have gotten ‘to the route of the problem’.
In the heart of Notting Hill, West London is Privet. A gardening themed ‘top-to-toe’ body topiary unisex service. The team of beauty professionals (‘expert gardeners’) are there to prove to you that personal pruning should be enjoyable. Once you’ve visited this place you’ll want to buy a place nearby to head there every day… Well, if you’ve a cool £24 million pounds, you can buy a townhouse.
From waxing to nails, Murad facials to laser treatments or you simply want to visit the clouds with a massage then this place is worth a try. ‘Unfurl, blossom and bloom’ while they tend to your ‘perennial maintenance needs’. There are bespoke sheds, including a ‘Toolshed’ just for the men. There’s a ‘Log Cabin’, ‘The Potting Shed’ (think Chelsea Flower Show meets Miss Universe pageant), ‘The Writers Hut’ and the aptly named ‘Orangery’ for St. Tropez spray tans. My therapist took me to the deliciously scented room (mmmm, Jasmine) and explained the massage. As I’d chosen the deep tissue option (‘Get To The Root Of The Problem’, Price: £78), she’d begin with my neck and shoulders and then work down to my legs for a thorough lymphatic drain, intended to encourage the natural drainage of the lymph which carries waste products away from the tissues back toward the heart, minimising cellulite.
To say that she has magic hands is an understatement. Due to my lifestyle (sat at a desk to running around with bags of magazines to client meetings to spending hours at a network event in five inch heels with cocktail in hand), my shoulders are constantly feeling as though they’re hunched and I suffer badly with my neck despite regular osteopath appointments. The only downfall of this massage? It ending.
A glass of water later, fully clothed and feeling zen, I thanked the staff and made my way home for the best nights sleep and the sweetest dreams that I’ve had for a long long time.
The full PRIVET price list can be found online:
214 Kensington Park Road W11 1NR
Telephone – 020 7221 5674
10am – 8pm
9am – 7pm
11am – 5pm